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[in-fi-dl, -del] /ˈɪn fɪ dl, -ˌdɛl/
  1. a person who does not accept a particular faith, especially Christianity.
  2. (in Christian use) an unbeliever, especially a Muslim.
  3. (in Muslim use) a person who does not accept the Islamic faith; kafir (def 2).
a person who has no religious faith; unbeliever.
(loosely) a person who disbelieves or doubts a particular theory, belief, creed, etc.; skeptic.
not accepting a particular faith, especially Christianity or Islam; heathen.
without religious faith.
due to or manifesting unbelief:
infidel ideas.
rejecting the Christian religion while accepting no other; not believing in the Bible or any Christian divine revelation.
Also, infidelic
[in-fi-del-ik] /ˌɪn fɪˈdɛl ɪk/ (Show IPA)
. of, relating to, or characteristic of unbelievers or infidels.
Origin of infidel
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Late Latin infidēlis “unbelieving,” Latin: “unfaithful, treacherous.” See in-3, feal
Synonym Study
1–3. See agnostic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for infidel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Already a Christian, could she hope for the success of the infidel?

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • His wife could not help the sudden thought, "But if we had had an infidel or agnostic son?"

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Let them boast of their Moorish gallantry and their infidel marriages—a fig for them!

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • It represented the triumph of the Papacy over the infidel of all dates.

  • She must have been a bad one like her brother, who was an infidel, they say, and did not know or fear God.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
British Dictionary definitions for infidel


a person who has no religious belief; unbeliever
rejecting a specific religion, esp Christianity or Islam
of, characteristic of, or relating to unbelievers or unbelief
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin infidēlis, from Latin (adj): unfaithful, from in-1 + fidēlis faithful; see feal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for infidel

mid-15c. (adjective and noun), from Middle French infidèle, from Latin infidelis "unfaithful, not to be trusted," later "unbelieving," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fidelis "faithful" (see fidelity). In 15c. "a non-Christian" (especially a Saracen); later "one who does not believe in religion" (1520s). Also used to translate Arabic qafir, which is from a root meaning "to disbelieve, to deny," strictly referring to all non-Muslims but virtually synonymous with "Christian;" hence, from a Muslim or Jewish point of view, "a Christian" (1530s; see kaffir).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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